Zimbabwe’s private sector has joined the government’s efforts in vaccinating the nation against COVID-19 through procurement of vaccines for its members.
The program, led by one of the country’s largest health care insurers, Cimas, was launched by deputy health minister John Mangwiro on Thursday.
The private sector-led initiative will complement the government’s national vaccination campaign that was launched in February using Chinese vaccines.
Mangwiro hailed the private sector for the initiative, saying it will reduce the burden on the resource-constrained government.
“The vaccines that you have acquired through government are going to be dispensed through Cimas clinics, which provides yet another avenue through which people can obtain the vaccine.
“This should increase the speed with which the government vaccination program will be implemented,” he said.
The vaccines, including those procured by the private sector, are being administered to all Zimbabwean citizens free of charge.
Zimbabwe is targeting to achieve 60 percent herd immunity to COVID-19 by vaccinating 10 million out of the country’s population of 16 million people by year-end.
So far, a total of 388,021 and 69,992 people have received their first and second jabs. The government has since decentralized the vaccination program to residential suburbs in urban centers as it steps up the vaccination campaign.
The country has to date recorded 38,191 COVID-19 cases, 35,517 recoveries and 1,565 deaths.